Fivepeat-seeking NU Pep Squad on next routine: 'Pa-sweet pero may wow factor'
NU Pep Squad looks to wow the audience anew with another show-stopping performance in the UAAP Season 80 Cheerdance Competition. Jham Mariano

IN recent years, the NU Pep Squad has wowed fans with innovative performances featuring death-defying, never-before-seen stunts as well as pyramids as majestic as those in Egypt.

No wonder it is the reigning four-time UAAP Cheerdance Competition champion.

But the NU Pep Squad is not about to stop raising the bar even with powerhouse UP Pep Squad returning and other teams upgrading every element of their routines in this year’s competition.

The Sampaloc, Manila-based cheerleaders vow to pull off another jaw-dropping, six-minute run as they gun for a fifth consecutive title on December 2.

Others may think they must have run out of creative juices after putting up surprises year after year. But head coach Ghicka Bernabe assures there are still a bunch of tricks up their sleeves.

"Kung na-enjoy nila yung last year, mas mae-enjoy nila this time," said Bernabe.

"Kung last year sabi nila parang nangangain sila ng buhay at sobrang fierce, ngayon mangangain sila in a sweet manner. Pa-sweet lang pero may wow factor," she added. "It will look easy pero actually sobrang hirap nya. Gusto namin ma-enjoy ng lahat ng audience."

For the architect behind National University's resurgence, it's championship or nothing.

"Kailangan talaga mag-champion. It's a must," she said. "Pero whatever happens, basta perfect performance, champions sila para sa akin at sa community."

But as in any other sport, defending the title won't be easy.

Pressure began to mount the day after winning their fourth crown. That's why they wasted no time in preparing for this year's tussle, commencing their training eight months ago.

"Yung pressure, vitamins namin yan everyday. Everyday pressured kami kasi alam namin na di kami pwedeng umuwi na wala silang natutunan every practice. Mataas expectations ng viewers and supporters so ayaw namin sila ma-disappoint," she said.

"Embrace mo everyday yung pressure. So parang kailangan ng pressure para mag move, kasi kung wala,andyan ka lang, stagnant ka lang."

So expect a performance worthy of a championship from the NU Pep Squad this weekend at the Mall of Asia Arena.

"Hind namin kayo hahayaan na mag-CR, kumain ng popcorn, or mag-text sa six-minute performance namin," she said. 

Follow the writer on Twitter: @janbballesteros